Text description provided by the architects. Villa Koivikko shows how new buildings can be added to a valuable landmark to create something entirely new while successfully complementing the existing architecture. The project addresses the challenge of taking care of the heritage of modern architecture and responds to the quest for solutions that allow modernist buildings to meet the needs of their contemporary users.
Located just outside of Helsinki, the renovated Villa Koivikko provides an excellent setting for remote work and life surrounded by nature. The modernist villa and the caretaker’s house by Aarne Ervi from 1958 were restored and three wooden buildings were added to complement them. The technical systems were updated, and a new geothermal heating system was installed. The built-in garage was replaced by a free-standing car-shed, a new sauna was built in place of the old one, and a writer’s studio was built on top of the old stone cellar.
With their strong sculptural character, the new buildings enter into dialogue with Ervi’s architecture. With their natural materials, dark outer shell, pitched roofs and traditional building methods, they stand in stark contrast to the straight horizontal lines, white surfaces, flat roofs, and modern building techniques of Ervi’s buildings. Embracing the relationship between architecture and landscape, OOPEAA’s design provides a new sense of balance to the estate. The composition of the new buildings respects Ervi’s original intention to leave open the view to the lake while directing the attention to the villa mid-way up the hill.
The new buildings are made of wood, a natural material that ages well and is ecologically sustainable and long lasting. Clad with traditional shingles, the car-shed and the writer’s studio take on a strong presence. Yet, treated with dark natural paint or tar, they almost blend in with nature. Highlighting the exposed structure, the light color of spruce in the interiors gives them a sense of warmth. The detailing is of steel with a black matte finish, or of copper. Interior design is by Studio Petra Majantie. The cabinetry and wooden detailing were realized by Punavuoren puuhevonen. The landscape design was developed with VSU Landscape Architects.
Placed at the top of the hill near the edge of the plot, the writer’s studio frames the yard separating it from the neighboring park landscape. Featuring large terraces,it offers generous views both towards the lake and to theparkland and creates a peaceful space of contemplation.
The sauna by the lake is built with logs with a tailormade joint and has a green roof. Under the steep hill, technical facilities and an outdoor barbeque kitchen are placed inside an embankment wall, and a garden is formed between the concrete wall and the wooden log wall of the sauna. The large windows of the fireplace room create a sequence of visually connected spaces. A wooden pier forms a pathway to the lake and a covered corridor-like space links it with the path leading up to the villa. It offers a place for storing the wood and loading the wood-burning sauna stove.